Parents tend to make for great nurses and other healthcare professionals as they are caring by nature and know how to look after people when they are distressed. While parents can make excellent nurses (and vice versa), many also struggle because both roles can be incredibly demanding, and it is vital that you are able to give 100% to both. So, what are a few lifestyle tips for parent nurses that will help? This article is here to help you navigate your life as a parent nurse so that it should make it easier to juggle both major responsibilities and help you to thrive in both areas while enjoying your lifestyle.
One of the most important habits that you need to get into is to plan everything as far in advance as you can. When you know what shifts you will be working, you should then immediately start planning how you will manage the kids during this time, whether they will be at school, if your partner can look after them or if there are friends/family that can help. If you find that you will be looking after the kids on your days off, you should try to have fun activities lined up with the kids that you can all enjoy. In addition to being good for the kids, you should also find that this is helpful in terms of keeping work and home separate and putting the difficulties of work behind you. While it is understandable that after a long shift, you simply want to put your feet up, it is also important that you really make the most of the time that you have with your kids.
Additionally, you should plan your free time in advance, including exercise and enjoying your own free time. Schedule time for yourself occasionally as a way to take a break from both work and parenting is important! As two roles that are incredibly demanding, it can be very easy to suffer from burnout as a parent nurse. This is why you should ask someone to look after the kids occasionally and use this time to unwind, recharge your batteries and enjoy yourself.
Communicate With Your Superior and Colleagues
You do not want special treatment because you are a parent (you will not be the only one), but it is important to communicate with your superior so that you can try to get shifts that will work best for you and your family. Developing a positive relationship with them will be helpful (for more than one reason), so try to maintain a good relationship and always communicate with them, especially if you are struggling.
Following on from this, you also need to make sure that you are communicating with your colleagues as you might find that they can help. You might be able to switch shifts if you need to look after the kids, or you might find that other parent nurses could look after your kids while you are working (just be sure to return the favor).
Don’t Be Afraid Of Asking For Help
Working as a nurse is one of the most demanding jobs that there is, and parenting is obviously incredibly important. Juggling both will be challenging for anyone, so you should never shy away from asking for help if you need it. Most people will be happy to help in any way that you can, so be sure to reach out to family members, your partner, friends, and even neighbors if you are struggling and need a hand.
Use Meal Prep
One of the best tips for parent nurses is to use meal prep as a way to ensure that you and your family are maintaining a healthy diet. After a long shift, the last thing that you want to have to do is cook a family meal, and this is why parent nurses often have a bad diet. Instead, using meal prep by cooking for the week during your time off and then putting the dishes in the fridge or freezer will allow you to provide a healthy, delicious, and balanced diet throughout the week without having to worry about cooking every single day.
Look Into Online Training
Earning qualifications is key for finding work as a nurse and progressing your career, but obviously, this is tricky when you have kids to care for. These days, you can find online courses that you can take while looking after the kids that have a short residency period. For those looking to transition into nursing from another area, direct entry masters of nursing programs will be ideal and help you to train quickly to be a nurse with online study along with clinicals and a two-week residency.
Exercise is an area that many parent nurses struggle with as you can hardly get home from work and then shoot off to the gym or go for a run. This is why it is a good idea to have an exercise option that you can do at home while looking after the kids, with yoga being a particularly good option. Yoga is great for both your physical and mental wellbeing and could be a good way to de-stress after a difficult day.
Get Help With Housework
It can be hard to keep on top of the housework when you are a parent nurse, but coming home to a messy house will put you in a bad mood and add to your stress. This is why you should try to get as much help as you can with the housework, which might include:
- Hiring cleaners
- Creating a rota chore for the kids
- Getting people to tidy up after themselves
- Asking a partner, friend, or family member to help
- Buy a robot vacuum
Hopefully, these tips will come in helpful for any parent nurse or any parent considering a career in healthcare. It can be challenging, but both parenting and nursing are also incredibly rewarding, so it can certainly bring you happiness in life when you know how to manage.